Archive | Reviews

31 December 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Niche Game: Final Fantasy Tactics

Final Fantasy Tactics uses a completely different battle system entirely. It is still turn-based, but the real interesting part is the use of terrain. The layout of the level has as much effect on the outcome of the battle as the strengths of the enemies or the skill of the player. In particular, holding the high ground is very important if either side has ranged fighters. Archers and mages are incredibly effective if they gain a little height, as their attacks gain a great deal of range when shooting at a lower location.

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28 December 2009 ~ 4 Comments

Review: Tweedlioop by Stanley Schmidt

TweedlioopThe state of our economy has forced many to make hard choices when it comes to spending money on entertainment. If you are one that likes to plow through a new book in a day or two (I generally prefer to take my time), 7.95 for a paperback novel can start to get pricey after awhile. Let me introduce you to the world of the used book.

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24 December 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Niche Game: Bart vs. the Space Mutants

In the game, Bart is the only one who knows that space mutants have begun an invasion of Springfield. He knows this because his X-ray specs let him see through the aliens human disguises, to see the tentacle-headed monsters beneath. No one believes him so he’s on his own to stop the alien invasion.

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17 December 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Niche Game: Black & White

The title refers to your ability to choose your own path. You can be good or evil and you can complete the game either way. If you choose to follow the path of good, then you might help people grow their crops, save people’s lives as often as possible, and make people feel good. If you want to follow the path of evil, then intimidation is the way, human sacrifice, flying fireballs, that sort of thing. And you don’t have to strictly choose one or the other, you can make every choice however you want.

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10 December 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Niche Game: Deus Ex

The year is 2050. The world is in a state of chaos. The Gray Death plague runs rampant, ripping through the populace. There is a vaccine, but it is in very short supply and is primarily used for the rich and famous. Riots occur everywhere, and anti-government groups are becoming more and more prominent. To combat this, the United Nations has formed a worldwide police force called UNATCO, the United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition.

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03 December 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Game Review: Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time

RatchetLike previous installments, CIT delivers lots of weapons (though the Quickselect menu is no longer customizable), enemies, worlds, spectacular visuals, and gadgets. The series’ humor is still firmly in place. Particular favorites include Mr. Zurkon, a homicidal “synthenoid” robot who loves to taunt your enemies (and sometimes your friends), and the battery bots, who complain bitterly every time their brief rebellions against being used as power sources are thwarted. The game also introduces mini-worlds with mini-games that feature various prizes, including treasure items and weapons mods.

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26 November 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Niche Game: Blast Corps

Two defective nuclear missiles are being transported cross country to a controlled demolition site. In transit, they start leaking, and the autopilot of the carrier kicks in, sending it on a direct path to the destination at a steady speed to the demolition site. A DIRECT path, completely disregarding any buildings or any other obstacles If it hits any bump, no matter how small, it will detonate. So the demolition squad called Blast Corps is hired to tear down everything in the carrier’s way.

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19 November 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Niche Game: Space Station Silicon Valley

Each type of animal has its own set of abilities which must be used to solve environmental puzzles in the game. The sheep is one of the first animals you encounter. It has no attack, but it can glide slowly down, floating like the little puffy cloud that it resembles, which lets it cross long gaps easily. Also in the early stages you can become a dog which can jump and bite. Hyenas have contagious laughter which causes area-of-effect damaging hysteria. Pigeons can grip dormant robots and carry them from place to place. You get the point.

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16 November 2009 ~ 3 Comments

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

PerdidoCoverPerdido Street Section is a great book, well worth the read. This is the first story I’ve read by China Mieville, but I will now be on the lookout for more from this author. It doesn’t take long to recognize China Mieville’s obvious skill at worldbuilding. The city of New Crobuzon is multi-faceted and schizophrenic, populated by humans and a multitude of semi-human races. But it does have its flaws. The good parts were great enough that I am still happy to recommend it.

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12 November 2009 ~ 1 Comment

Niche Game: Laura Bow 2: The Dagger of Amon-Ra

LauraBow2Besides the cool notebook idea, I really loved the sense of humor instilled in the game from the very beginning, in particular the manner of obtaining a press pass near the beginning is very funny (I won’t tell you the details to spoil the fun of figuring it out yourself). Also, the murders in a museum setting are always fun. Lots of cool artifacts from various eras surround and can be murder weapons, and I had fun just wandering from room to room and examining all the different items.

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